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Getting a Passport (for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents)

Important Information for All Students 

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 more months at all times while you are abroad.  So, if you already have a passport, check it now to see if you need to renew it.

While the International Programs staff will provide visa guidance where possible, it is your (the student's) responsibility to possess a valid passport and secure the proper visa in order to study abroad.

When should I get a passport?

Now! It takes between 4 - 6 weeks to get a passport (generally-see below), so the sooner you take care of this task, the better. However your application can be expedited if you are willing and able to pay extra. Once issued, your passport will then be valid for ten years. 

Please note that certain times of the year see more passport applications than others, for a more up to date description of current processing times, please visit this site:

Can I get help with the application?

The following guide will prepare you to apply for a new U.S. passport, whether it’s your first time applying, you need to renew, or want to get a passport for your child.

You Must Apply in Person If:

You are applying for your first U.S. passport; or
You are under age 16; or
Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16; or
Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged; or
Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago; or
Your name has changed since your U.S. passport was issued and you are unable to legally document your name change.

Where can I get my passport photo taken?

You can have your passport photo taken at a variety of locations. Some of the U.S. Post Office's which issue passports may be able to take your photo (you will need to confirm this with them when you make your appointment). You may also have your photo taken at large pharmacies, like the CVS down the street from Hollins. Keep in mind you will need extra copies for other documents in your abroad application, so getting more than one copy may be advantageous. You should also be sure to review the rules for passport photos before going to have your picture taken. The person taking your photo should know all of the rules, but it's better to know the rules yourself to ensure an acceptable photo is taken.  

What are the rules for my photo?

You must provide 1 photo with your application
The processing of your passport application may be delayed if you do not submit a photo that meets the requirements below.  To avoid processing delays, we recommend you use a professional passport photo service.

Your passport photo must be:
In color
Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.
Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
With a neOne of the following):
Previously issued, undamaged, and fully valid U.S. Passport (5 year for minors or 10 years for adults)
Certified U.S. birth certificate (must meet all of the following requirements):
     issued by the City, County, or State of birth
     Lists bearer's full name, date of birth, and place of birth
     Lists parent(s) full names
     Has date filed with registrar's office (must be within one year of birth)
     Has registrar's signature
     Has embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal of registrar
Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
Naturalization Certificate
Certificate of Citizenship

Where can I find the application?

This site will allow you to fill out your application. Keep in mind, you will need to print out the application and take it with you to your appointment.

Where can I appy?

This State Department website will allow you to search for a site to submit your application (NOTE- Appointments are required - call the site of your choice to see about making an appointment):

How much will it cost?

Please see this fees chart to determine how much it will cost: PassportFeesChart.


Last modified 03/27/2018